Vacation Planning Specialist – Nicole!

Independent Travel Agent with The Vacation Wizards!

A Disney Christmas!

A week ago I booked myself a Disney vacation for the weekend of December 11, 2015! This will be my first trip to Disney during the Holiday Season! I am so very excited to be going during this time of year! Going during the Holiday Season has been on my bucket list for a while and this year I am finally able to do it! Accompanying me will be my mom, brother and his girlfriend. We are counting down the days!

We have purchased tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for Sunday December 13th! I’ve made our dinner reservations, but sadly was not able to book a Disney Character Meal but I am trying every day to see if there has been a cancellation! The thing that I am most excited about is see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! I’ve watched so many videos of the show on YouTube and I’ve always wanted to see them for myself. I will be posting more when I get some more news about our travels! My next step will be to book our FastPass+, which will be October 11! I have 101 days until my Disney Christmas Vacation!

Being that I have never been during the Holiday Season if anyone has any advice to give, it will be greatly appreciated! If you have anything to share please post in the comments! Thanks in advance!

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Night Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Witness the wild as it comes to life in complete darkness during this thrilling, hour-long expedition. Set out for after-dark adventure on an exclusive safari experience for Animal Kingdom Lodge Guests Only, reminiscent of an African game drive through the savanna. Guests will have use of night vision goggles to make the most of their viewing experience.

The Night Safari is offered daily, with check-in for the safari at the podium to Sanaa restaurant in Kidani Village at 9:45pm. The safari departs around 10:00pm. The safari is limited to 10 Guests and can be reserved up to 180 days in advance (subject to availability). Price is US $70 per person (plus tax). A portion of the tour price is donated to the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund. Guests must be at least 8 years of age to participate. The safari can only be booked by the itinerary planning office or Concierge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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DISNEY PHOTOPASS AVAILABLE ON MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE MOBILE APP

With the addition of Disney PhotoPass on the My Disney Experience mobile app, you now have easier access to your Walt Disney World Resort memories.

The new update allows you to preview all of your Disney PhotoPass vacation photos, including photos from select attraction and dining locations. Plus, you can now purchase Memory Maker within the app, allowing you to share and download your vacation photos right from your device.

**Please note Guests without a Memory Maker entitlement can view a watermarked version of their Disney PhotoPass photos through the app.**

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FASTPASS+ RESERVATIONS FOR EAT TO THE BEAT CONCERT SERIES DURING EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL

If you and your are headed to Walt Disney World Resort during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 25-Nov. 16, 2015, you can now make FastPass+ reservations for the Eat to the Beat concert series.

Four new acts debut and several fan favorites return for nightly shows at the America Gardens Theater. 

Scheduled to perform are:

David Cook – Sept. 25-27, 2015

Wilson Phillips – Sept. 28-29, 2015

Christopher Cross – Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2015

Starship – Oct. 2-4, 2015

Smash Mouth – Oct. 5-7, 2015

The Pointer Sisters – Oct.8-9, 2015

38 Special – Oct. 10-11, 2015

Rick Springfield – Oct. 12-13, 2015

Sugar Ray – Oct.14-16, 2015

The S.O.S. Band – Oct. 17-18, 2015

Air Supply – Oct.19-21, 2015

Fuel – Oct. 22-23, 2015

Tiffany (NEW!) – Oct. 24-25, 2015

Dennis DeYoung – Oct. 26-28, 2015

Jo Dee Messina – Oct. 29-30, 2015

Everclear (NEW!) – Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2015

Boyz II Men – Nov. 2-4, 2015

Sister Hazel – Nov. 5-6, 2015

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Nov. 7-9, 2015

Hanson – Nov. 10-12, 2015

Maxi Priest (NEW!) – Nov. 13-14, 2015

Chaka Khan (NEW!) – Nov. 15-16, 2015

Please note: Daily show times take place at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Entertainment and appearances are subject to change without notice.

If you would like more information about the International Food and Wine Festival check out my post, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival For more information about other holiday events, parties and festivals that take place at Walt Disney World check out my page Holiday Events, Parties and Festivals at Walt Disney World. If you have any additional questions please fill free to Contact Me. You can also fill out my FREE Quote Sheet for Walt Disney World

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NEW WALT DISNEY TRAVEL COMPANY-FLORIDA LUGGAGE TAGS!!

Beginning with reservations arriving on Sept. 29, 2015, most Guests booked on a Walt Disney Travel Company package at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will receive their luggage tags in the same box as their MagicBands.

These new luggage tags feature seven unique designs each in a color that will correspond to the Guests’ MagicBand. If Guests have not customized their MagicBand color, they will receive a luggage tag in the iconic grey color to match their MagicBand.

Red MaigcBand: Minnie

Grey MagicBand: Minnie & Mickey

Yellow MagicBand: Mickey

Green MagicBand: Goofy

Blue MagicBand: Donald

Pink MagicBand: Daisy

Orange MagicBand: Pluto

The delivery method will vary depending on when your reservation was booked and whether you have customized your MagicBands. 

Walt Disney World Resort hotel Guests will receive their items accordingly:

  • Guests who have booked and customized their MagicBands 10+ days prior to arrival will receive their luggage tags in their MagicBands box at home.

  • Guests who have booked and customized their MagicBands 6-9 days prior to arrival, and Guests who have not customized their MagicBands will recieve their luggage tags in their MagicBands box at the Resort hotel.

  • Guests who have booked a reservation 1-5 days prior to their arrival, and Guests who have opted out of MagicBands will receive luggage tags at the front desk of their Resort hotel.

Please note Guests staying at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Downtown Disney Area Hotels, Four Seasons Resort Orlando and Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotels will continue to receive luggage tags with Guest documents.

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STAR WARS HALF MARATHON EVENT SPRINTING TOWARD WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT IN 2016!

The force has awakened at Walt Disney World Resort as runDisney announces a new addition to its portfolio – “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Dark Side.”

This intergalactic quest through the Walt Disney World Resort blasts off April 14-17, 2016 and channels the Dark Side of the Force. Events include a 5K, 10K, kids’ races and half marathon. There will also be a Star Wars Dark Side Challenge — running the 10K and the half marathon on consecutive days – that offers each finisher a Death Star-themed medal.

Runners who join the Galactic Empire will enjoy a true Star Wars experience, including Dark Side-inspired medals and merchandise throughout the weekend.

The new race follows the debut of the popular Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland  Resort, which will return in January as the “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Light Side”.

Guests who dare to experience both Star Wars races will have the chance to take on the Kessel Run Challenge — completing theStar Wars half marathon missions on both coasts. Kessel Run Challenge runners can earn a commemorative “Coast to Coast” medal inspired by the Millennium Falcon starship.

Registration for “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Dark Side” opens Sept. 22, 2015 at noon ET.

Remember! You can book a Magic Your Way Package now for during the event dates. Then, you can register via runDisney.com when registration opens on Sept. 22! 

Contact Me Today so we can Get The Magic Started! Also if you have some time, check out the rest of my blog! You might be able to learn some cool and interesting things about Walt Disney World! May the force be with you!

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Booking Disney Cruise Line Shore Excursions, Dining Reservations, Spa Treatments and Children’s Programs – DCL FAQ’s –

You can view your reservation at Disney Cruise Line where you can pre-book your Shore Excursions, Palo reservation and Spa treatments. If you have children under age 18 in your party, you can pre-register them for the kid’s programs.

The first step is to register on the Disney Cruise Line website. Next, you’ll need your Disney Cruise Line reservation number and the birthdate of the lead passenger. (Hint: If that date doesn’t work, try the date of another member of your party.)

There are four options to choose: Shore Excursions, Dining, Vista Spa and Children’s Programming. Within each category you can arrange your schedule of events. Changes and cancellations of your plans are just a click away.

One important part of pre-booking is to schedule your Port Arrival Time.  Disney Cruise Line offers staggered arrival times to help prevent congestion in the port, so you will need to pick from a list of available times.

The Booking Schedule is as follows:

  • 120 Days in Advance – Concierge Guests in Stateroom Categories 1 – 3 and Platinum Castaway Club Members

  • 105 Days in Advance – Gold Castaway Club Members In any Stateroom Category

  • 90 Days in Advance – Silver Castaway Cay Club Members In any Stateroom Category

  • 75 Days in Advance – New Disney Cruisers in Stateroom Categories 4 – 12

**Pre-booking requires that your cruise be paid in full. Reservations can be made up until 2 days prior to your arrival.**

When you view your reservation, you’ll see the cruise itinerary. If you’ve chosen excursions, Dining and/or Spa treatments, you’ll see that information listed on the day that you selected. It’s in an easy to print out format that you can take with you on your vacation.

While you will receive a packet of documents prior to your cruise, you can also access and print the Embarkation form, Payment Authorization form, Cruise Contract, Medical Information Form and Minor Authorization form.

Reservations are filled on a first come, first serve basis and some excursions, reservations and events have capacity limits. I encourage you to make reservations early to avoid any disappointment.

**PLEASE NOTE: Shore excursions are final and non-refundable once you’re within 3 days of your sail date.** Guests who choose not to pre-reserve shore excursions prior to their cruise may stop by the ship’s Shore Excursion Desk, located on Deck 3, on embarkation day, to check availability and purchase excursions. Due to limited availability, some excursions may not be available.

All guests with pre-reserved shore excursions will receive excursion tickets delivered to their stateroom on embarkation day. Payment for confirmed excursions will be billed directly to the guest’s shipboard account. Advance payment is not required or accepted.

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When will I know my flight schedule as arranged by Disney Cruise Line? – DCL FAQ’s –

Disney Cruise Line uses “bulk air” when making flight assignments for their guests. Flights are not finalized until 30 days prior to your arrival and they DO NOT make your seat assignments. Once you have the flight information, you need to contact the airline to have your seating requests noted.

You will be able to access your flight itinerary online approximately 21 days prior to your arrival. (You can call the Air/Sea department once you’ve reached the 30 day mark for this information)

Online access is as follows:

  • Log in at www.disneycruise.com

  • Select My Disney Cruise

  • Select My Reservation

  • Select Retrieve a Reservation

  • Enter your access info (confirmation number & date of birth) hit Continue

  • Your reservation details will appear including your air information which includes your airline, flight number, ticket number, PNR, departure city, time of arrival, city and date for all flight segments

They make every effort to get you to the Orlando airport in a timely fashion, but you may be scheduled for connecting flights.

If you prefer to fly in the day prior or specify a direct flight, airline, etc., you may do so by paying an additional $50.00 deviation fee.

When booking air with Disney Cruise Line as part of your vacation package, it includes complimentary ground transportation while in Orlando.

Note that in accordance with airline policies, children under age 2 are not provided with air unless it is specifically requested. Disney Cruise Line will consider the infant to be a “lap child.” Children age 2 and up are required to have a seat on the plane.

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What paperwork will I receive concerning my Disney cruise and when? -DCL FAQ’s-

You will receive the Cruise Packet anywhere from 30 to 45 days prior to your departure date. The packet will be delivered directly to you from Disney Cruise Line. The Cruise Packet is delivered via United States Postal Service (US) and UPS (Outside of the US). No one needs to sign for it. It can be delivered to whatever address you choose, but it cannot be delivered to a PO Box (outside of the US). Please note that if you choose an alternate address other than your home, DCL still needs to have your home address in their records.

Disney Cruise Line encourages everyone to complete their forms online and bring the Online Check-In Signature Form to the embarkation port for faster, easier boarding. If you’re not able to do so, forms can still be completed at the port terminal. You will receive instructions to access your information when final payment is made.

The forms in the Cruise Packet can include your itinerary, the ship’s policies, gratuity guidelines, luggage tags which are to be affixed to your checked bags when you arrive at the Port unless you’re using Disney Transfers, a form which is to be filled out and notarized if you have a minor under age 18 who is traveling without their parent/legal guardian, and the form which is to be filled out with your credit card information while onboard. You’ll also be provided with any Immigration forms that are required for your particular sailing.

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How do Disney transfers work and how much do they coast for my Disney Cruise? – DCL FAQ’s-

You’ll receive luggage tags in your cruise packet. When flying on the same day as the departure of your cruise, you’ll affix these tags to your luggage before leaving for the airport. (Since your bags may not arrive at your stateroom until 5:00pm or later, pack a carryon bag with your documents and necessities.) Upon arrival in the Orlando airport, these tags identify your bags and they are brought directly to the ship. You do not need to go to Baggage Claim.

Disney Cruise Line agents will be in the main terminal of the airport and are easily identified. Starting at 9:00 am, a “meet and greet” is scheduled. The shuttles are boarded on a first come/first served basis. Departure begins at 10:30 am.

Upon arrival back at Port Canaveral, you will be required to retrieve your luggage from Customs. The major airlines have check-in counters at the port and will transport your checked bags to the airport. Shuttles board and depart on a first come/first served basis.

Prices:

  • Airport to Walt Disney World Resort or resort to airport: No Charge (Magical Express)

  • Any other one way transfer (resort to port or port to resort/airport): $35 per person

  • Cruise Only (round trip airport to Port Canaveral): $70 per person

  • Land/Sea Package (round trip Airport to Resort, Resort to Port Canaveral, Port Canaveral to Airport): $70 per person

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